Kenyan Hominins Essay

1156 words - 5 pages

Hominin species are a part of the primate super family Hominoidea, they became distinguished by their ability to walk upright, or bipedal locomotion , which led to major morphological changes in their bodies. Hominins began exploring new habitats and as a result were introduced to a variety of food; this led to changes in many features such as their teeth, jaws, and skulls. The socio-ecology of hominins is largely reflected by the distribution of food which influences a species distinguished diet and body size. Diet and body size are reliable sources for indicating a species social tendencies and mating systems, both of which can be inferred by examining the fossil record of a specie. These models of evolution are especially useful when studying species that have become extinct, like the Praeanthropus Dimorphicus and Praeanthropus Monomorphicus discovered in Kenya, Africa. Since “behavior does not fossilize” we must rely on examining the remains of species to make educated assumptions about their socialization tendencies (Christopher Opie, Susanne Shultz 2012). The specie Praeanthropus Dimorphicus exhibits cues in its fossil remains that lead us to conclude they ate lower quality foods and lived in larger social groups, whereas the fossil remains of the specie Praeanthropus Monomorphicus insinuate that they ate higher quality foods and lived in smaller social groups; based off of this information we are able to determine several other characteristics from each hominins social-ecology.
Discovered was the variation in body size among the Praeanthropus Dimorphicus specie, the males weighing approximating 135 kg and the females weighing 90 kg. This suggests the pressure of intrasexual selection acting on the species to create sexual dimorphism among males and females. The presence of sexual dimorphism explains the larger body size of males who likely competed with other males for reproductive success within the population. In populations with lower male to female ratio sexual dimorphism is more pronounced (Christopher Opie, Susanne Shultz 2012). In the Praeanthropus Dimorphicus specie, males weighed approximately 45 kg more than females suggesting adequate presence of sexual dimorphism; this allows us to insinuate that the male to female ratio was low as a result of their prominent sexual dimorphism. In male-male competition, selection tends to favor males who are larger in body size and characteristics that enhance male control over access to females, things such as larger canines and strength (Boyd, Robert and Joan B Silk 2006). Species with the presence of sexual dimorphism tend to reproduce in non-pair bonded methods such as polygamy, in which one male mates with many females (Boyd, Robert and Joan B Silk 2012). This primate mating system emphasizes the need for success in male-male competition, in order to gain access to females and reproduce.
Larger animals are less constrained by the quality of their food than by the quantity, they...

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